Source: Path Solutions
Path Solutions, a global leader in Sharia-based technologies to the Islamic financial services industry, has announced that it has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Attijariwafa Bank Group in Morocco.
Under the terms of the agreement, Path Solutions will provide and implement its interest-free core banking platform iMAL across the 31 branches of Attijariwafa Bank participative subsidiary Bank Assafa, including Sharia-compliant financing, delivery channels and trade finance.
Morocco-based Attijariwafa Bank is a leading bank in North Africa with a presence in 25 countries and with over 8 million customers. The bank decided to acquire iMAL among many other vendor solutions, to run the operations of its new participative subsidiary Bank Assafa.
After evaluating major international vendors, Attijariwafa Bank chose to go for Path Solutions. The bank’s aim is to provide financial products and services in compliance with Islamic principles, in addition to gaining access to a highly scalable platform able to support the rapid growth of its participative subsidiary.
Youssef Baghdadi, Chairman of the Management Board of Bank Assafa, commented, “The launch of our new participative banking subsidiary is part of Attijariwafa Bank’s long term vision to diversify its product offering. We looked at a number of solution providers for our new Sharia-compliant core banking system and we turned to Path Solutions following good references from several leading Islamic banks and because we simply wanted the best. We needed a core banking platform in full compliance with the Sharia, which could be implemented quickly and cost effectively, whilst providing the breadth of functionality that will allow us to achieve our ambitions. The iMAL solution fulfilled all these criteria”.
The new core banking platform is set to deliver competitive edge to Bank Assafa and bring real benefits to the bank’s customers - particularly in areas like Sharia-compliant investment, project finance, financial messaging and financial reporting. Adopting the new iMAL solution will see productivity at Bank Assafa boosted over the next years, and will allow the bank to offer faster response time to its customers, while improving customer service by proposing a range of innovative participative financial products.
Mohammed Kateeb, Group Chairman & CEO of Path Solutions, explained, “We are delighted to have been chosen by Attijariwafa Bank, the third largest bank in Africa. Bank Assafa is a significant win for Path Solutions; we welcome it to our community of strategic partners. The implementation of iMAL will facilitate Bank Assafa’s entire operations, allowing it to serve its customers with true Sharia-based state-of-the-art core banking platform to launch a wide range of innovative products to advance financial inclusion and attract the majority of the population that are currently unbanked”. And he added, “Our commitment to serving financial institutions through providing technologically advanced, participative and interest-free software solutions, and continuously enhance them to remain in line with changing regulatory, compliance and industry requirements is our prime concern. We look forward to a mutually beneficial and long-term business relationship”.
In January 2017, Morocco Central Bank has given its approval to set up five fully-fledged participative banks in the country, one of which is Bank Assafa, a 100% subsidiary of Attijariwafa Bank Group. The other participative banks are partnerships with local conventional banks and foreign banks (BMCE - Al Baraka Banking Group, Banque Centrale Populaire - Guidance Financial Group and others).
Recognizing the huge potential of Islamic finance in enhancing financial inclusion in Morocco, Bank Assafa launched in July 2017 its Sharia-compliant financial services while riding on cutting-edge technology as it plans to reach out to more customers across the country and beyond who feel left out by the conventional banking system.